Posted by : Deepak Vasudevan Sunday, December 16, 2007

[Persits ASPEmail Review] A Powerful Server-Friendly SMTP Component for Microsoft Environment

Introduction

Email and messaging has become an inseparable part of any web application. The days of static HTML have just disappeared. The era of depending on CGI scripts for email functionality and rest in the native applications is slowly disappearing. The compelling point is that every application should support fully tuned and fine-grained SMTP functionality be it Desktop or Web.
Applications use email for a diversified reasons. A few of the requirements are here under:

  1. Contacting back to (Parent) Website
  2. Newsletter Solutions
  3. Peer Email Services
  4. Current Solutions and Situation
The Classic ASP had two types of email support with Windows:
  1. CDONTS (Colloborative Data Objects for NT Server)
  2. CDOSYS (Starting with Windows XP).
When Managed Realm took control, these components were still used under a friendly cover namespaces like System.Web.Mail. The COM exceptions were taking ugly faces in some occasions and hence we had troubleshooting websites like http://www.systemwebmail.com/. However, if you are lucky to have started using .NET Framework 2.0, you are at relatively safe hands with System.Net.Mail (http://www.systemnetmail.com/) which does not get hands very much dirty with COM Interop since it is a complete rewrite of the SMTP functionality.

The ASPEmail

Although for most cases, we can live with the base class provided libraries there are occasions like newsletter mailing and similar SMTP-heavy applications which would bog down the server with overwhelming number of requests for emails. Here comes Persits ASPEmail (which is a lucid COM Component) that can help us with.

Features of ASPEmail from Persits

Although it is a COM component, you can use it with greater degree of ease in your ASP.NET applications through COM Interop. The site itself now says as "Free Mail Component for ASP and ASP.NET"

In one of my previous organizations, I had to have a newsletter component written. While the engine was ready, the significant problem we faced during the actual customer deployment was performance. After a bit of research, we moved the email setup to Persits ASPEmail. The Premium Version supports Message Queuing. This works in the free version also but as a trial feature and stops after the trial ends.

Support for Digitally Signed Messages. Note: However you need to use the sister component called ASPEncrypt to use this functionality and also purchasing a digital certificate from a certificate authority like Verisign or Thawte

Transparent and simple use in any type of application like Windows Service, Desktop Applications or Websites.

While preparing this note, I have also just observed from the vendor website that they have released the 64 bit version of the product now. However note that there may not be trial version for this product.

URLs of Interest
  1. Persits ASPEmail Primary URL: http://www.aspemail.com/
  2. ASPEncrypt (for Digitally Signed Email Messages): http://www.aspencrypt.com/
Summary
I am sure this would be a quick eye-opener note for developers who are looking at SMTP components that need to be be aggressive in the applications of type NewsLetters and High Traffic websites where any burden on the CPU for a single operation is not tolerable.

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